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gpurcell
175 comments | 152 total rating | 0.87 average rating
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Baseball Prospectus http://bbp.cx/i/39554
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

You have utterly unwarranted confidence in projection systems--PECOTA and all the others--that are currently able to explain perhaps one third of observed variation. You're completely out of line comparing the predictions of those prediction systems with the defined probabilities in a game of blackjack.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Yes. Indeed, this is exactly what drove the Sabermetrics paradigm shift in the first place--Beane and others were making moves that conflicted with the previous paradigm and those moves were resulting in unexpected success. Now, perhaps that advantage could have been sustained a bit had <span class="bookdef"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393324818/baseballpro07-20/ref=nosim/" target="blank">Moneyball</a></span> never been written...but eventually the secret sauce would have become less secret as people moved into other organizations on their career trajectories.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

It can't, not really. Because Kuhn's insight is that the existing paradigm is objectively failing, becoming ever more baroque to address new and conflicting empirical observations. It doesn't make sense to invoke Kuhn outside of a situation where something like objective reality is being measured. This doesn't mean that it is restricted to "hard science"--Keynes, for example, can be seen as a paradigm shift in economics--but it does require acceptance of that objective and measurable reality. It's not like, by the way, there aren't huge hints in Sabermetrics proper that something major is being missed. I'd argue that one key element of the projections Sabermetric paradigm--brute forcing of player predictions using regression to the mean--is almost certainly a mistake.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

Kuhn's structure of scientific revolutions involves improvements in science. For example, plate tectonics was a revolution in geology and overturned the dominant paradigm of uniformitarianism replacing it with some acknowledgment of changing conditions on the planet over time. This was further tweaked by Alvarez bringing back into the discussion explicit catastrophism as an explanation for some rare phenomena (such as dinosaur extinction). These revolutions occurred because a growing set of data--from geology, from astronomy, from biology--made the previous paradigm untenable. Whatever the virtues of "intersectionality" it is essentially a literary form of analysis and certainly isn't something that a Kuhnian-type scientific revolution would lead to. It's simply not "science." To the extent that Sabermetrics as an approach is primed for a Kuhnian revolution it would involve improving predictions of outcomes/dealing with edge cases like the KC Royals. Perhaps, like in geology, this will involve creative ways to measure or account for "old school" baseball information such as scouting reports and character evaluations.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

This just in: Murray Chase is both a jerk and gutless.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 6

This is the drum I keep beating: baseball records are not generated by some simple sum of a game-level statistic (such as WAR) but are really the sum of the results of discrete contests. Maximizing the value of some yearly statistic is not equal to maximizing the value of wins produced by a squad. Oddly enough, there was once a hitting statistic that tried to get at this marginal effect (albeit poorly): game-winning <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=RBI" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('RBI'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">RBI</span></a>. Saves are also a way to try and measure this effect on the pitching side. Many, many analysts have confused the flaws in those statistics with a flaw in the underlying phenomena they are trying to measure.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

You deliver so much value for my BP sub. Thanks!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

I don't understand how Kershaw, age 26, 28.6 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=WARP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('WARP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">WARP</span></a> and Price, age 30, 27.9 WARP makes the case that Price is worth Kershaw money. It seems to show (correctly IMO) that he is NOT a pitcher of the same quality at all.

Dec 02, 2015 5:03 AM on Oh, Hello David
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 6

My idea is not to change the $ amount of the contract but to change the standard QO contract offer to include a PLAYER option for a second year. Teams would have to ask themselves if they are really willing to have the guy hanging around for a second year if his performance isn't that great the first year.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Also in his calculation perhaps: the relative paucity of the FA class next year.

Nov 13, 2015 8:17 AM on Colby Qualifies
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

And hit it out of the park with its very first roll, too!

Nov 06, 2015 8:48 AM on The 2016 Free Agent 50
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Not just the DH; remember that NL pitchers are also at a big advantage over their AL colleagues when NL rules are in play. You'll never see an NL pitcher just told to stand there with a bat and not hurt themselves (<span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Pedro+Martinez">Pedro Martinez</a></span> or this year <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=47360">Wade Davis</a></span>).

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

"potentially ending the World Series on a baserunning boner" Well, no. The World Series was only going to end last night if the Royals won. Potentially tying the game with a 3-1 series lead was the play. That's why it was such a brilliant move--all upside for the Royals and if it doesn't work, well two more shots to win the World Series.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Has <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> had the Royals at over 50 percent for any game this postseason?

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

I've believed for a long time that managers have only very limited ability to help teams through tactics (which is the conventional wisdom) however they have much greater capacity to harm teams through their "tactics" (which I don't think is fully appreciated).

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Actually, I think that was all Cain.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: -2

The ball was clearly a <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=HR" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('HR'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">HR</span></a>, actually. It bounced out of the guys mitt onto the top of the wall.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

"we don't give full credit, because the next best reliever could do almost as good a job." Which simply is not true!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

When you dig into the projection systems (not just <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> but ZIPs and other ones) what you find is that they do not explain much variance--R-squared values in the .33 range. Further, you'll find that they don't improve much on projections based simply on regressions to the league average. This indicates either that A) the models are substantially underspecified, B) the modeling approach based around explicitly incorporating regression to the mean is flawed, or C) there is fundamental variation in performance that represents chance and luck that prevents accurate predictions. If I had to bet money the failure of projection systems is mainly a combination of factors A and B.

Sep 09, 2015 6:58 AM on Royal Screwup
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I'd argue the problem is the basic WAR/WARP approach itself and the role the Royals bullpen plays in their success. Using team WAR/WARP to project a season employs the statistic as an aggregate measure across all contests. But this very assumption is incorrect because a season is not a summation of total performances--it is a set of individual contests. A historically awesome bullpen allows what appears to be a fairly insignificant contribution to aggregate WAR/WARP--relief pitching performance--to be leveraged only in those cases where that excellence will impact the marginal outcome of contests. There may be issues within the individual projections not just for <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> but for all the projection systems--I suspect there is fundamental problem with the approach of using a sledgehammer to regress individual performance to the league average--but what the Royals mainly show is that season results must be modeled as a series of discrete contests.

Sep 09, 2015 6:53 AM on Royal Screwup
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

So the Royals end up winning the Central by 8 games even playing .500 ball the rest of the way. Wow.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

One situation that could cause a forfeit might be two catcher injuries in a blowout game. Sure, a lot of teams have a third emergency "catcher" but I suspect there's a lot more risk throwing one of your position players in the game with the tools of ignorance compared to throwing to home.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

Eh, no. HIPAA concerns those who hold the information and how they deal with it/protect it. Perversely, the only potential HIPAA violator would be the Astros, for failure to properly secure said records.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

It's an interesting question how much to weigh the first 12 percent of this season over the previous three years worth of data. I'd certainly put it in the range of a 25 percent weight at the very least.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, give the small population there's no reason at all not to employ a hierarchical approach.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Typically what you'll want to do before running a cluster solution on your population/sample is to cluster the variable set itself and let the data tell you which set of indicators provide the widest information spread/are least correlated with each other. Theory drives which variables go into that initial analysis but the clustering approach itself finds the variables that are most orthogonal with each other.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

It's an interesting visual approach to presenting cluster data, which I've always found to be a real challenge. My only caution is that developing multidimensional clustering solutions isn't really a fire-and-forget type of endeavor.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I love these articles!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

One statistic you might want to generate for your model is the ROC curve. I find it a good way to compare the predictive accuracy of Logit or Probit models. Great work, BTW!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Possibly. And then a superstar Nats team gets the lion's share of the joint media market when the separate TV contracts are signed.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

Revising and extending a bit: more wins now means the Nationals more-or-less lock in a larger share of MASN revenues indefinitely.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 4

Hypothesis: The unique local TV arrangement leading to direct competition between the Nationals and the Orioles, and the Nationals ability to reset the terms of the deal every fifth year, means that marginal wins in 2015/16 are more valuable to the Nationals than to other teams.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

That's right. It may be useful to use the distribution to calculate something like "Percentage chance player will be greater than replacement level."

Jan 19, 2015 9:15 AM on Projecting Uncertainty
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Yeah, I do think there is a pressure to have no one at 100 percent. Gonna be interesting to see what happens with that when Jeter hits the ballot.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

There is the also risk that it would be Your Vote (tm) that would prevent a unanimous entry to the HOF. Probably will raise its head when Jeter is up.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

One other element to consider, depending on league format, is streaming. Particularly towards the end of the season it's possible to get a ton of value our of that approach from pitchers. For example, when I won my league year before last the value I generated from streaming was just about equivalent to James Shields' production for the year. That's not an approach you can take with hitters.

Dec 04, 2014 8:10 AM on Mixed-League Pitchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Trouble with the Curve, number one with a bullet. Actively stupid, beyond just standard Hollywood nonsense.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

The Red Sox are playing the Yankees game--in the offseason, buy the best players. Worked pretty well for them for many years.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I think Verlander had one more year of vast overdrafting before becoming a sneaky value pick like Greg Maddux was for the last few years of his career.

Nov 18, 2014 12:05 PM on Five Fantasy Busts
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

My feeling has always been that the biggest risk in pitching are the second tier guys.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

The farm system Moore inherited? Are you kidding?

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 7

I see Randy is predicting David Glass sells the Royals to Sir Richard Branson who moves the perfectly named franchise to London for 2015.

Nov 04, 2014 9:30 AM on The Free Agent 50
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 4

No, five to ten years of Yankees being terrible would be glorious.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I always thought Scott Brosius was the ultimate example of this...but Ishikawa may have knocked him off.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

One down, thankfully didn't matter.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Called it, sadly. Yost needs to be fired at the end of the game for this.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

The key is satisficing behavior. Figure a level of comfort you need to make a decision and then analyze only to the point where that level of comfort is met. Once there, commit to making a decision one way or another and accept that we live in a probabilistic universe where the best decision can still lead to a bad outcome.

Jun 20, 2014 9:05 AM on Trade Paralysis
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

These are awesome articles. Thank you!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: -1

One thing that a lot of people taking this approach don't take into account is something I like to call "Someone's Gotta Play The Games." Assuming relative rationality on the part of teams, the management is reasonably aware of a team's chances of competing in a given year. But even if a team isn't going to compete, they are still responsible for putting a reasonable entertainment product on the field. Now the traditional response from the sabermetric community has been, "This is no problem, freely available talent, replacement-level players!" The problem is that running out a squad of 4-A guys concedes to everyone--both the industry and, probably more importantly, local fans--that the towel is out before the first game is played. Beyond that, the 4-A guys may end up being a lot worse than advertised or may end up being embarrassments at the Major League level in conduct, bonehead mistakes, etc. As a result, while it drives sabermetric types crazy, I'd argue it actually is rational to pay some amount of money above the Major League minimum salary to veterans who project to play at or below replacement level simply to purchase a kind of respectability--even if that purchase nets the team no wins.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

There is always hope; remember Eduardo Villacis!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Yeah, I agree with this. There isn't a deep amateur and minor league system that, over the course of many years, adequately assesses and promotes GM and FO staff talents so that the very best are identified the way there is for on-field performance. Heck, it is possible--even likely--that there are whole cadres of unexplored talent that aren't even on the radar screen (e.g., analytic and quant mavens attending major state schools instead of the national private universities).

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Not sure I agree. In fact, you NEED some low-value players to play their way off your roster quickly so you can have FA flexibility early in the season. The ones who kill you are those late and mid round picks who chug along at 70-80 percent of predicted production so you don't have a clear rationale to drop them.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I'm sixth and he is the guy I am targeting.

Mar 19, 2014 9:27 AM on Picking Fifth
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Once you are out of, say, the tenth round I think you should draft the guys you want, even if it is a few rounds early. The imputed value of picks from the mid rounds down doesn't vary much (think in terms of auction values from say 3 or 4 bucks down to 1).

Feb 28, 2014 10:11 AM on Starting Pitchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I have Cobb and Shleby Miller as potential keepers and Miller worries me a lot more than Cobb.

Feb 28, 2014 8:42 AM on Starting Pitchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

So, just to be clear, they won't show up in PFM? (I like the projections for them, just want to adjust my draft prep if necessary.)

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I think you go six star or go four with pitchers. I don't like the price/value/risk mix of the five-star tier.

Feb 25, 2014 6:26 AM on Starting Pitchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, this is really just a variant of needing a theory-based reason for introducing a nominal variable into a time-series regression that handles pre- and post-intervention effects.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I would go hard avoid on Zimmerman. If he hadn't turned it on the last bit of the season it would have been a disaster.

Feb 14, 2014 7:00 AM on Third Basemen
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

I never realized how truly terrible Alfredo Griffin was...I always remember thinking he was kinda OK.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

The NPV of the deal with the option really needs to be compared to the NPV cost of a potential deal without the option. We, of course, don't have that latter information but it is likely that the signing team DOES know what the alternative costs.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Position worry Rarely leads to wise choices-- Draft the best hitter.

Jan 22, 2014 5:50 PM on First Basemen
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Why is Jason Castro in three star tier? And if the entire range of SB is from 0 to 5 it's pretty ridiculous to include it as element in the ranking at all.

Jan 19, 2014 8:11 AM on Catchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I think the value of accumulating counting stats from Perez while not taking a hit to BA is being overlooked.

Jan 19, 2014 8:07 AM on Catchers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Problem with Cargo at 8 is I don't see a scenario at that slot where there wouldn't be a guy I'd want more. If I'm drafting late and he's still on the board on the top of the 2nd I'd grab him, though.

Jan 11, 2014 10:05 AM on Colorado Rockies
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 4

Exactly. He was the best player of his era, by a wide margin, before he juiced. Once he juiced, he basically broke the game.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I still think you've got to include Joey Votto in the mix in the bottom of the first round. I'd feel absolutely comfortable drafting him between 5th and 10th.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Robinson Cano spent at least some time during a game at SS this year--our Yahoo league even made him SS eligible.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

So what, in general, is the biggest red flag concern among baseball scouts (aside from, say, being potential felons).

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Very impressive group of hires. These products add a LOT to the value of my BP subscription.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I think I may not have communicated clearly: determining the league point totals my rank ordering through projected playing time into each position slot merely has the EFFECT of imposing any needed control for position scarcity and so positions can then be ignored in the draft/auction outside the mechanical requirement of filling the roster--it doesn't imply there is any great weight attached to it and indeed I generally find that the back end of the ranking is mixed in with catchers and MI who are barely above replacement level and deserve no great consideration for the small increase in production they can provide.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, I agree with almost all of that--particularly the danger in ending up with a steals-heavy team if you weight that category similar to the others (I don't use a specific valuation system for pitchers; rather I just do a modified LIMA approach and target a handful of guys at various draft points). What I do for steals is not include them in the sum of shares of the other four categories I use to rank order hitters but rather have the projection alongside them on my draft sheet and just keep a running tally of projected steals through the draft.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Exactly.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

It's possible to get a bit more precise in determining replacement level, I think. The way I approach it is to get a set of player projections with playing time (thanks BP) and sort by PAs. I then fill all the slots in the league with the players that have the most projected playing time for each position. Replacement level then ends up being different for CI/MI/C/OF. Summing up the offensive statistics for this group then gives a predicted league total for each statistic while controlling for position variability. Since Roto is a zero sum game the relative value of each player may be determined simply through an analysis of the SHARES of each of the offense category contributed by the player. (I generally underweight SB in this procedure.) The proof of this (and the process of determining dollar valuations) is left as an exercise for the student.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 4

I've got a problem with this type of trade evaluation--it mixes the results of later transactions with the consideration of each deal. For example, the Johan Santana trade looks a lot better if the Twins retain Carlos Gomez rather than flip him two years later. That later bad decision should not count against the evaluation of the initial deal. When I run these calculations I use all WAR/WARP generated by players on either side of the transaction until they are either released or they reach the end of the control period that was current during the deal (either a contract expiring or the end of initial team control)--so the book on Gomez, for example, should close with his 2013 season.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Didn't the Mariners offer Ellsbury more money/years than the Yankees?

Dec 06, 2013 1:20 PM on A Need Cano Basis
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Great stuff as always. I'd just point out that Votto also earned $30, which would be tied for 10th with Marte on the top earners list...and I'd still feel comfortable with grouping him in the Goldschmidt, McCutchen, CarGo tier(in fact I'd take him over CarGo in any draft). Also, how is Matt Carpenter not a top profit?

Dec 04, 2013 2:44 PM on National League Hitters
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

My take is that a guy like Fister, not realty a touted prospect, comes really out of nowhere and becomes a player no one expected, are undervalued because GMs are waiting for the Cinderella effect to wear off.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

That's the point of replacement level. It's also a fundamental flaw of the approach and why its important to look at WAR/WARP as illustrative but not precise measures.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I am so glad they changed the "Red Sox and Yankees can't knock the other out in the first round" rule.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

For old guys like Jeter, Berkman, and Pena, my philosophy is always to let them be another player's problem. Sure, every so often you'll miss a decent season...but its far more likely that they'll either completely crater or (even worse) play well for the first six to eight weeks of the season and then turn into a lead weight that you don't feel you can dump for the next two months in case they get hot again. For young guys like Cain, Beltre, and Perez, there's little harm in throwing a late round pick on the/bidding a buck or two. You're going to want some slots for roster churning at the beginning of the season anyways and if they start out slow, no harm no foul.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Thanks for that link!

Aug 25, 2013 7:39 PM on The Series Ahead
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

In my league his owner was so disgusted with him he insisted I take him (for free) as an extra player in a trade we had already negotiated.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Er, Greg Holland with a down arrow? Guy's given up 5 hits, 3 walks and 1 earned run since May 15 while striking out 26!

Jun 27, 2013 7:46 AM on Stuck in the Middle
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

+1 ratings for both of you.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Buy one closer who gets Ks.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

A beginning note: of the 12 defense runs Johnson is awarded above Reynolds, 2 aren't even because of his performance but rather simply because of where he is standing on the field. The problem between offense and defensive WAR is not simply one of needing better defensive metrics--we can not, and probably will not ever be able to, eliminate the subjectivity inherent in evaluating defensive performance. That subjectivity will always be present because 1) defense measures are to some degree dependent the performance of other players in the defense and 2) there is no objective standard for what "good" defense looks like in the first place (e.g., is range more important or sure hands?) I'm going to leave it at that because I don't want to start on a rant about the insanity of reifying replacement level performance. WAR should always be presented in a decomposed format, with offense and defense contribution completely separated. Let the USER of the statistic decide how to weigh the two components rather than jam them together into a single misleading number.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 7

"62 percent Caucasian, 28 percent Hispanic, eight percent African-American, one percent Asian, and 0.2 percent Native American" Which is actually not that far off from the US demographic profile--blacks represent about 12 percent of the total population. There is a bigger gap in Asian baseball players--they are about 6 percent of the total US population. I'm not sure why the four percent gap between the black population and ballplayers is a bigger issue than the five percent gap between Asian ballplayers and the nation.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: -1

Yeah, these guys are almost all bubble guys on our 12 team mixed league.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Not particularly fair. The Royals were zeroed in on the college arms but they were all taken by the time their draft slot came up.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Yes, and those of us drafting this weekend would have stale information. There's no way for them to keep everyone happy.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

"When you hear a player compared to Bo Jackson, just stop listening." Great advice. Jackson was sui generis.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

WAR is a statistic that aggregates all contributions over the course of the year. For most players, however, actions they take in the course of a game do not contribute to a real victory. If a batter, say, goes 4 and 4 with 2 home runs and the team loses, the fractional WAR value from that game contributed by that player is unrelated to an actual victory. This is where closers are different. By definition they are being brought into a game in a situation where ANY fractional WAR they collect (either positive or negative) contributes directly to a win or loss. This is why Rivera was so devastating. He is/was a magnificent pitcher AND those very valuable innings were being focused directly where they counted.

Mar 24, 2013 8:11 AM on Ranking Rivera
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I'm a homer, but I was always much more impressed with Brett's hit tool than Gwynn's.

Mar 21, 2013 9:19 AM on Best Hit/Power
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

It strikes me that what you need are five to ten journeyman ballplayers who are also good clubhouse guys. That will give you pre and post data for the teams they travel through as well as control for team effects more effectively. Be useful to have a mix of hitters and pitchers as well.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Run PFM without saves--this is essentially what I do for steals on the hitting side.

Mar 20, 2013 7:12 AM on Saves Are Everywhere
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

And a strike only for him.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Does this have any effect on the data from the Player Forecast Manager?

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah, I think this is right. We're talking about guys talented enough to learn to hit 95 mp fastballs with movement. If ten percent of the pitchers became knuckleballers the hitters would adjust in a season or two.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Comedy gold, thanks for the laugh! Lemur # 1 Willie McGee

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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It seems to me the "concierge" approach would be much better applied in the minors, actually. Keep younger players from having to worry about stuff like rent (same way as we ease college kids into adulthood).

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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It's mainly a communication issue--rather than point estimates these data can be presented as trend information.

Mar 11, 2013 11:17 AM on Maybe I'm Wrong
 
gpurcell
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The biggest issue, IMO, is reification of the useful simplifying assumption of replacement level talent. The baseline is built on quicksand (and it has only gotten worse throwing defense and baserunning into the mix).

Mar 11, 2013 11:16 AM on Maybe I'm Wrong
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Absolutely, epsilon will contain true randomness, model mis-specification, and omitted variables. In an effort to correct the omitted variable problem, I suspect that the model mis-specification problem has become more acute in SABR analysis as defense and (now) baserunning are rolled up into a single value statistic that corrupts the information from the much better specified hitter-value function.

Mar 11, 2013 11:15 AM on Maybe I'm Wrong
 
gpurcell
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It was worth it for the Yellow Cab joke.

 
gpurcell
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Interesting. I've always had a feeling that its the second tier of pitchers where people are most likely to get burned...and these data support that feeling.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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One of the things that always impresses me looking back at trades many years after the fact is how little most moves end up mattering.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Pretty sure Law isn't a Royals fan...there was some bad blood generated a few years ago between him and them due to some message board hate directed at him.

Dec 13, 2012 10:56 AM on Moore Problems
 
gpurcell
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The Meche signing didn't end up to bad...and it would have been real solid if Trey Hillman wouldn't have blown up his arm.

Dec 13, 2012 10:55 AM on Moore Problems
 
gpurcell
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The thing I hate about this contract from the perspective of the Dodgers is the buy-out--they have all the downside risk but their upside potential gain is limited.

 
gpurcell
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Yeah, like, say Mike Minor from the Braves.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Why? Because this package should have brought more--MUCH more--than it did.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Be interesting to see how F1 works this weekend. I can see it whetting the apetitte of folks here for a baseball team.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I always thought code for hangover was "flu like symptoms."

 
gpurcell
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So, I'm curious. For a guy like Lee, how long does the glamour related to his draft bonus continue to affect his prospect ranking?

Aug 09, 2012 6:29 PM on Too High/Too Low
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

My take is that every player should take those actions that he or she feel are going to rank them higher in the league. The inaction and point differentials caused by coasting teams are just as bad as those caused by trading.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Great article--it's really valuable to see how they rank next to each other and track that back to what was traded.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Great article. I have one question. You write: "some [teams] have certain provisions that everyone internally has to be aware of when evaluating the potential deal." I'd be curious what some team-specific provisions might be (without naming the teams, of course). Is this like "No Scott Boras?"

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Great article. Biggest thing I see with hardcore sabermatricians is a tendency to reify useful analytical tools--like, say, WAR/WARP.

Jul 10, 2012 10:41 PM on Hire Joe Morgan
 
gpurcell
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I think you're missing an important variable--what the player decision to go to arbitration says about their psychology, particularly their risk aversion. That can't be controlled for by matching a comparable player through stats. My hypothesis is that players who are risk averse are more likely to accept arbitration AND more likely to sign away some free agency for an initial post-control payoff. T

 
gpurcell
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But your argument is that the players producing the revenue should be rewarded, which is exactly what this CBS does. We don't compensate kids while in college--they have to earn their degree and get a job before that happens.

Jun 06, 2012 11:46 AM on First Round Recap
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Prospects don't generate revenue. They cost money. Only MLB players generate revenue.

Jun 05, 2012 11:44 PM on First Round Recap
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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There's no right to a union card.

Jun 05, 2012 4:00 PM on First Round Recap
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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How do you figure it is illegal? The player's union and the owners agreed to it. There's nothing in labor law that says a profession has to have free entry. Try pulling that line about being a stagehand on Broadway, for example!

Jun 05, 2012 3:59 PM on First Round Recap
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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All ML contracts help are agents, not players. They screw with 40-man roster management and can disrupt player development (see Porcello, Rick.)

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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"Unmitigated disaster"? Hardly. Simply the elimination of the sandwich picks--and as a result the large increase in value of the top of the second round--is a major step in the right direction.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

Great summary. It's fantastic to see the horribly flawed sandwich pick system vanish.

 
gpurcell
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This is an important point. Statistics right now are not that great at predicting success. This might be because we don't measure enough factors/well enough. It might also be that there are inherently unmeasurable factors, contingency, and path dependency that render future performance of players inherently UNpredictable. It is very, very easy to be wrong. You'd think that the whole "defense doesn't matter just play sluggers" debacle would have taught the only-stats crowd some humility.

May 24, 2012 5:22 PM on Is Scouting All Bad?
 
gpurcell
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Also: "But when you say "scouting data," what do you mean? I take it to mean info generated by technological measurement of skill/performance and not the subjective opinions of people watching." In other words, he is denying that scouting reports are data at all. But the fact that something is subjective doesn't make it not data.

May 24, 2012 5:19 PM on Is Scouting All Bad?
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

"Anything that is so bad at predicting how players will do is, at best, marginally useful." Yes, it is what he is saying.

May 24, 2012 5:17 PM on Is Scouting All Bad?
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

All I really want to say is this: anyone who actually does statistical analysis for a living--like I do--knows that DiCaprio is way, way, way out of line in his lauding of quantitative over qualitative data. Real researchers use all data--for example, using qualitative data at the beginning of a project to help identify potential hypotheses for testing, numbers for statistical testing, and back to qualitative sources for a reality check of results. Throwing out a huge source of information--scout reports--simply because it does not hew to a comically narrow notion of "data" is just ridiculous.

May 24, 2012 2:16 PM on Is Scouting All Bad?
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Yeah, I cut bait on Scherholtz this week in an NL-only league.

May 21, 2012 8:47 AM on Building From the Bench
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I've gotten OOTP a few times, but every time the complete inability of my staff to give me decent talent level ratings drives me completely to distraction. I understand some divergence...but how can a guy be a five star prospect in June and not rate a star in July?

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

At the end of the day, Rookie of the Year has to be based on performance on the field, not on some prediction of future greatness. Only one or two of your list are clear instances where a ROY was awarded to someone who was clearly eclipsed by another player during that year. There's no injustice, for example, in Bob Hamelin beating out Manny Ramirez--Hamelin played a lot better that year.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I agree, it is "37 year old" Hernandez.

Apr 04, 2012 4:49 AM on Last Expo Standing
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Generally the finding looks to be that the more players are drafted from a program, the more likely it is one of them will achieve HoF or HoVG performance in the majors...although there is a hint of non-linearity in the scatter plot that might indicated some additional quality to quantity. Of course, Maple Woods CC would be ranked above all of these programs but USC and Texas....

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 9

"Moore will be paid about $26 million during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. PECOTA projects him to produce 8.4 WARP in that stretch. If salaries go up 5 percent per year, Moore projects to be worth more than $50 million over those three years, with the very real possibility that he becomes the sort of pitcher who can produce 8.4 WARP in a single year." Here's the thing--if Moore performs at that level, he will get at least one really significant free agent payday. That makes the forgone dollars worth even less from his lifetime baseball earnings. For example, let's say he plays well at Tampa, hits free agency, and signs a 5/70 deal...and is out of baseball at the end of it. His lifetime baseball earnings are still $96 million. The forgone revenue from his arb years and three option years is effectively marginal income ABOVE the hundred million level. If you look at the Gordon contract you see this pretty clearly--he was willing to give up two seasons of free agency, but that still allows him to get one big payday in his career at age 31. If he doesn't do well, he has the player option to fall back on. So the logic that is developing is pretty clear, I think--player signs away some excess value in their late twenties for financial security but ensures a single big payday in free agency if they play well/aren't injured. As an aside, if this becomes the standard way of doing business in baseball, WAR purchased in free agency will begin to become more expensive.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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You know who gets this--Aussies. Work gives you money to go do things.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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There was a marvelous Frank Deford piece on All Things Considered back several years ago about old athletes and why it is so difficult to quit. His thesis was that athletic skill doesn't just "go away." Rather, elite athletes retain the ability to play at an elite level--but that as they age those elite levels events become more and more rare. But, still, they exist and the athlete thinks "I still have it, I can still do it, see I JUST DID."

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Like you I tend to suspicion towards defensive metrics, but its mainly an issue for me because they aren't great predictors (e.g., they take a long time to stabilize, long enough that skill can degrade). If you are looking at them to establish as a historical statistic how good a guy was on average during his career, and you aren't concerned with prediction, I think they are reasonable.

Dec 03, 2011 7:24 AM on Resetting the Standard
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

I like it. The only beef I have is with including ANY of the clearly ridiculous 20 or 30 WARP guys in the average calculation. I'd be more in favor of a "mistake rule", just accept that they are in as historical curiosities, and then remove them from the analysis.

Dec 03, 2011 7:22 AM on Resetting the Standard
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 3

At first I thought the CBA was really going to put the screws to the small market teams. Now, I am not so sure. The new CBA gets rid of the supplemental picks which tended to really hurt the worst teams in the league. By virtue of being so bad they tended not to have many good free agents and so the Yankees and Phillies of the world would get multiple picks before the second round came around again. Take 1996, for example. The Yankees were able to draft Ian Kennedy AND Joba Chamberlain before the Royals got their second pick. The Red Sox got FOUR players before the Royals picked again. The top of the second round will be true second round topic again. The top of the third round will be true third round talent again.

Nov 23, 2011 7:34 PM on What Price Labor Peace?
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I started seeing red as soon as they showed a picture of Gonzalez wearing a Royals uniform. THIEF!

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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The thing that is astonishing to me is the depth of the system. For most teams the development (or lack thereof) of three of the four lefties would have been disastrous.

Nov 18, 2011 11:05 AM on Royals Top 11 Prospects
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I watched him pitch; it's completely called for. Hope he pulls it together.

Nov 18, 2011 11:03 AM on Royals Top 11 Prospects
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Don't know why you have Marcum as a fourth starter. His FIP/WARP were pretty darn close to Gallardo this season.

Oct 21, 2011 10:58 AM on Milwaukee Brewers
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I don't believe managers can do a lot to win games, but they certainly can do a lot to lose them.

Oct 21, 2011 10:51 AM on A League of Their Own?
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

"Baseball today, by any fair measure, is more competitive than it has ever been, and despite the sport’s more restrictive playoff system." You think so? I'd argue that the highest level of parity was actually the late 1970s/early 1980s.

Oct 07, 2011 6:04 AM on Moneyball and Money Men
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Well played.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: -5

Shorter Moneyball: Be in a four-team division with three bad teams and a couple of good starters and you can win a division.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

I don't accept that draft position makes no difference in how teams treat players vis a vis giving them a shot in the major leagues. The upper minor leagues seem full of guys who were high end picks who never made it but have lingered on, given chance after chance after chance, even over lower drafted guys who have never gotten a cup of coffee. At some point in time it's got to be nothing more than, "Heck, someone thought enough of this guy to draft him in the second round, give him a shot, no one is going to complain that we gave him some hacks."

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Injuries don't just happen. A organization that runs out a lot of older players is also going to have to contend with a lot more injuries.

Aug 18, 2011 11:03 AM on Giant Steps... Backward
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

Drafted him in the 11th round of an NL-only league...I reckon by value provided he is producing like a fifth rounder.

Aug 13, 2011 7:44 AM on Meditating on Morse
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 0

I'd rather have Victorino as a "five tool guy" then some of the guys on the list!

Aug 13, 2011 7:40 AM on Five-Tool Surprises
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 2

There is a problem with Kevin's general "We" rule--I call it the "Eduardo Villacis paradox." Briefly, Eduardo Villacis was brought up by Allard Baird of the Royals for a spot start at Yankees Stadium. Not in and of itself a novel situation, except Villegas 1) was not a prospect in any way, shape or form; 2) was brought up directly from AA; 3) had to be added to the 40-man roster for the spot start; 4) did not even have a uniform with his name on it; 5) was essentially unknown to every other Royals player on the team; 6) was immediately banished back to the minors and never appeared again. Under the Goldstein rule, Villacis is in the Venn Diagram of "We." Now, let's consider a child. This child's first memory is the green Astroturf of Kauffman stadium. Every night he fell asleep listening to Denny Matthews with his ear glued to his Mickey Mouse radio. He sobbed with Patek when Chambliss hit his home run. In other words, his youth is inextricably intertwined with his hometown, which is intertwined with the baseball team that plays there. Under the Goldstein rule, that child is outside the Venn Diagram of "We." I don't think this is a defensible position--the paradox is hos is it possible that Villacis as a matter of identity has a stronger claim than the kid? My position as this--people shouldn't be given a hard time if they make a claim of shared identity for a sports team that played 1) in their hometown and 2) for which their connection extends to their early childhood. This isn't a case of some frat guy moving to Boston from Indiana for college and two years later talking about "we" between him and the Red Sox. The "we" between a person and a childhood hometown team is as legitimate as any other identity claim related to one's hometown.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Beer should be yeast, water, hops, and malted wheat or barley. Period.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Cooking ribs. Simple. Very simple. Rub some spice on the ribs. (Optional at this point: grill for five to minutes on a side.) Turn oven to 250 degree. Wrap the ribs tightly with aluminum foil, poke some holes on the bottom for the fat to drain. Place on that two-piece metal broiler pan that comes with every oven but no one seems to use (to catch the dripping grease). Cook for at least three hours.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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So what's a rule of thumb for the other side of the equation--for swapping keepers for production now?

 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 1

Halladay wasn't even considered in the same universe as Wood or Ankiel.

Jul 02, 2011 7:01 AM on Finding the Next Ace
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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And before anyone asks, all I'll say is that it was a first round pick who flopped--which ought to leave a large enough population for plausible deniability.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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We had a player's dad start sending nasty PMs to people posting on a Royals board several years back. It was crazy.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Texas Chili Parlor, Austin. I guarantee you won't slag off Texas chili if you try it.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I'm trying to imagine why any team in the proposed "AL Central" would agree to it.... Six teams in the division when every other one has only four.

Jun 16, 2011 2:29 PM on Realignment
 
gpurcell
(39554)
Comment rating: 4

Scouting and the draft. I'd love to see another set of articles that link up scouting reports to how teams draft...not so much for the blue chip prospects but rather for the huge crop of guys drafted in the mid and late rounds. Does a scout basically get to say something like "This kid's got a little projection in his arm but has a great makeup and will be good org depth in A ball." GM: Ok, we'll pick him up in the 12th or so.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Giavotella will be the Dalai Lama-esq reincarnation of David Eckstein, for good or for ill. Bank on it.

May 17, 2011 10:19 AM on Monday Morning Ten Pack
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Ok, you've made a convincing case to me that scouting hitters is much tougher than scouting pitchers...that makes it all the more remarkable to me that pitching prospects have such a higher failure rate than hitting prospects. Besides injuries, what do you think accounts for that? Also, great series, I'm really enjoying it.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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To follow up, I just read this: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13875 Rany's system projects the Royals at 77 wins and the Indians winning the division with only 86 games...a nine game difference.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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The Royals have the talent in the high minors to add, say, five games to their win total this year: Hosmer: 2 wins over Kila Duffy: 2 wins over 5th starter Montgomery: 1 win over 4th starter They also have a ton of payroll flexibility for a rental this year, so let's say they can pick up another win at the ASB. The Playoff Odds currently have the team at 1.2 percent. Even if that's the case (and I suspect it is a bit low because it overstates the odds for the Sox and Twins), surely six additional wins boosts the Royals playoff chance up to, say, 15 to 20 percent. That seems worth it to go for it.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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In my NL-only 12 team league I took Stanton with pick 43. Bruce and Hart were both still on the board but I'd had a great first three rounds (Tulo/Zimmerman/Phillips) and figured I'd take a risk on his power figuring their averages would protect me.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Player opt-out after three years makes this a terrible deal for the Yanks.

Dec 10, 2008 2:05 PM on CC... Chooose Me!
 
gpurcell
(39554)
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Exactly. Retaliation isn\'t about \"machismo,\" not really. If my opponent\'s pitchers know that they can come inside and, on occasion, plunk my batters with no retaliation than my team\'s batters will be at a disadvantage. I remember seeing this happen with the KC Royals one back in 2007 when Buddy Bell was managing. Our kids were getting plunked at a outrageous rate--13 HBP for Alex Gordon, 23 for David DeJesus. We racked up 89 HBP. That was number 1 in the league....for a team that lost over 100 games. In comparison, our pitchers only had 41 HBP. When it became clear that the other team was gunning for the only two decent bats on the club (one a rookie) it was absolutely time to start knocking the other team\'s best players into the dirt.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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I agree, it kinda surprised me and I find it a bit offputting. Don\'t see why baseball and politics has to mix at all.

 
gpurcell
(39554)
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It is astonishing to me that Yankee fans are celebrating this appalling turn of events rather than burning Steinbrenner in effigy. A place that should be on the National Register of Historic Places (something even I, a committed Yankee hater must acknowledge) is being torn down for a parking lot...all so that there are skyboxes for New York elites in a new and soulless stadium.

Sep 22, 2008 11:31 AM on The Long Farewell